Study: Collaborative care teams offer similar cardiac care to MDs alone

A new study found a collaborative care model that uses physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants provides comparable cardiac care to physician-only programs, according to the Journal of American College of Cardiology.

Researchers looked at data from the American College of Cardiology's registry on the quality of coronary artery disease, heart failure and atrial fibrillation care delivered by physicians and advanced practice providers for all of 2012.

Data included more than 880 clinicians who care for nearly 460,000 patients.

Results of the study show NPs and PAs saw about half as many patients as physicians on average — advanced practice providers saw a mean of about 260 patients compared to 581 for physicians. Nonetheless, physicians, NPs and PAs were equally compliant with CAD, heart failure and atrial fibrillation requirements.

However, researchers found NPs and PAs were more likely to provide smoking cessation screening and intervention, as well as provide cardiac rehabilitation referrals.

Perhaps most importantly, the researchers found compliance with all current recommendations was low for both advanced practice providers and physicians — 12.1 percent and 12.2 percent, respectively.


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